The man whose Reliance Jio has gained more than 100 million subscribers in less than a year described Sunil Mittal of Airtel as a friend and said that said the country has already exhibited its potential to the world by jumping from the 150th position in the mobile broadband consumption to being the number one in less than a year.
Reliance Industries Chairman and Manging Director Mukesh Ambani said that telecom and IT sectors will have to play foundation role in creating digital infrastructure, which will help the Indian economy to grow $2.5 trillion to over $7 trillion a year in next 10 years. “We must tap into the potential of technologies like IOT (Internet of Thing) for job creation”, he said.
He said the Indian economy would grow from United States dollars 2.5 trillion to over USD 7 trillion and rank among top 3 economies in next 10 years, thanks to the contribution of the Indian telecom and IT industry which would play a key role in creating digital transformation.
“Data is the oxygen to digital economy”, he added. “The opportunity to pave the path for our nation’s progress and create a better quality of life for every Indian beckons us”, Ambani said.
In India, the 4G coverage will become larger than 2G coverage over next one year and there is an urgent need to invest in creating next-gen tech, break silos, forge partnerships, Ambani added.
“Mobile Internet and cloud computing are the foundational technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, he said. Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan and electronics and IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney will also be part of the event apart from telecom CEOs. When Mittal mentioned the investments his company was making to improve infrastructure, he added, “Mukesh is putting up lot of investments” as well.
Though the government had eased right of way norms and opened up central government buildings for telecom towers, Mr. Mittal said that getting permissions at the ground level was still a slow process.
Airtel chairman sought government’s support in fast tracking the pace of growth and achieving India’s vision. But none of us can do it alone.
“Twenty years ago, call rates used to be between Rs 19-25 per minute, but due to their (Ambani and Mittal) healthy competition, now there is free talktime, and data is the new oil“, he said. No single corporate, nor the government, can do it alone.
“We all have to come together”.
Anil further said that the telecom sector was in ‘ICCU, ‘ and also made references to sharp erosion in competitive landscape. “Indian consumers have a very strong appetite for data services but still over half a billion people have not connected to the Internet and these are a great opportunity for all”, he said.